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What’s Your Return on Relationships?

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

Unleashing the Growth Potential of Customer and Employee Relationship Management

Return on Relationships score.

In the business world, we are accustomed to measuring Return on Investment (ROI).

The measure of financial gains relative to investments. However, it is a “lagging indicator”. In other words, something that happens after we do something else.

The primary driver (or leading indicator) of positive financial growth is the quality of our relationships. It is our ability to create a consumer and workplace experiences that build brand loyalty and drive repeat business.

What is Return on Relationships?

A powerful coefficient that assesses the effectiveness of relationship management in driving organizational growth. Your ROR score encompasses the quality of the brand experience and level of engagement for both customers and teams.

Your ROR score determines the likelihood that your business will be your customers’ first choice. It also correlates to the ability to attract and keep valuable team members. It is an all encompassing measure of a company’s ability to relate customer and team sentiment with financial performance.

Understanding Relationship Economics

It's no secret that customer loyalty and brand affinity play a pivotal role in driving sales. When customers have a positive perception of a company and feel a strong connection, they are more likely to choose that brand repeatedly, resulting in increased sales. Likewise, for employees, fostering a culture of happiness and engagement is crucial for employee productivity and retention.

Gallop research has shown that engaged employees stay longer and are up to 22% more productive. This increased productivity translates to better customer service, improved labor margins, and ultimately, increased sales.

In the podcast series, “The Customer Service Revolution", John DiJulius refers to the Relationship Economy as an essential management tool in the age of the relationship economy.

Measuring the Quality of Your Relationships:

How do you know the financial impact of your relationship management practices?

As a start point, here are some key questions to ask yourself:

1. Do you understand the POWER of your brand?

Can you articulate why your customers choose your brand over others? Do you know what keeps them coming back? Have you asked them what would get them in more often? Understanding your customers' motivations is crucial for brand loyalty and effective marketing campaigns. The answers to these questions are your competitive advantage.

2. Can you Measure Customer Satisfaction in Real-Time?

Are you confident that every customer leaves your business happy? Can you leverage positive and negative emotions while your customers and employees are in your business to gain insights into how to drive growth? Does every touchpoint evoke positive emotions that strengthen loyalty and drive repeat visits?

3. Can you Relate Employee Happiness with Customer Happiness?

Most companies take a temperature read on employee satisfaction 1-3 times a year. A lot happens over the 365 days. Regular “pulse checks” on your workplace culture can alert you to problems that could cause you to lose valuable team members. Happy, engaged employees are more likely to provide exceptional customer service, be more productive, and stay longer.

4. Can you measure your Promotions ROI?

Can you segment your customers into buying groups with common attributes? Are you targeting specific changes in buying behaviour and then measuring sales lift over discounts? This gives you valuable insights into the efficacy of your marketing. It is also indicates that you understand what your customers value most. Marketing becomes a valuable brand service, rather than just more advertising noise.

5. Are you Empowering Your Store Managers?

So often, managers will ask for employees to perform better in an area, without providing them the productivity tools or training to understand how to achieve that outcome. Providing your managers with the ongoing coaching and continuous training they need, empowers them to lead teams effectively. The result - more “A” players, improved operational efficiency, lower staff turnover and higher customer satisfaction. In the age of AI, digital coaching is a great way to stretch management resources.

Calculating Your ROR Score

If your answers to the above questions are a resounding YES, congratulations! You are most likely realizing the full potential of your return on relationships. If not, fear not!

At Drive CX, we have a systematic approach to evaluate and elevate your relationship management across eight essential experience and engagement categories.

By completing a short questionnaire, we’ll calculate your ROR score and send you a report highlighting your strengths and areas of opportunity for creating deeper relationships. As you optimize each of the 8 categories of relationship management, you will see increased customer lifetime value, reduced employee turnover, and more efficient operations. Ultimately, that shows up as growth in sales and profits.

Quote from Jeff Bezos February 4, 2023

"We're not competitor obsessed, we're customer obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backwards." "The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be earth's most customer-centric company."


Your organization's success relies on financial gains that are driven by the strength of your relationships. Understanding and maximizing your "Return on Relationships" (ROR) is vital for a competitive advantage and sustainable growth. By tracking the customer and employee experience and engagement, you can build loyalty, drive sales, and create a positive work environment that optimizes customer and team retention.


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